IT is responsible for launching the careers of some of the world’s most successful designers including Christopher Bailey, Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson and for the first time ever, the works of students from Limerick School of Art and Design will feature at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week in London.
The event which kicks off this Sunday, June 2 at Earls Court and runs until Wednesday, June 5 will showcase the designs of over 1,000 graduates from some of the most influential UK and international universities.
“It’s very exciting,” commented Anne Melinn, head of fashion at Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT, who will make the trip to London with three other staff members. “Because we are now one of the top 50 destinations for fashion courses and our name is out there now, we decided this year we would go for it and we were selected which is great.”
Attracting over 20,000 guests each June, Graduate Fashion Week features 22 catwalk shows, as well as a large exhibition from over 40 universities and an acclaimed Gala Award Show.
“We are not actually showing on the ramp as such,” Anne explained. “It is a static show so we are showing portfolios of work from 15 to 20 students.
“We are the only Irish college ever to be selected to participate. You have to put a whole proposal together to be selected.”
The leading London colleges will be showing over the four days including Central Saint Martins and the Royal College.
The event, Anne says, will be a great opportunity to promote the Limerick college and to build up contacts in the fashion industry.
“We are delighted to be there and to get the name out about Limerick and the college and promote it as best we can,” she said.
A selection of the best work from the college this year and last year including portfolios and a video of the recent fashion show from the Milk Market will be showcased during the event.
“We will be up there with the best of them and we will be promoting the course and the department. There are a lot of English students interested now in coming over and being in the college,” Anne explained.
Designed to bridge the gap between graduation and employment, Graduate Fashion Week is responsible for launching numerous careers. A number of workshops and talks will take place during the event featuring esteemed fashion experts and the event will also be attended by top design houses, on the lookout for emerging talent. “The editor of Grazia will be there. There will be established companies there recruiting and looking for designers including Mulberry and Harrods so it’s a really good platform,” said Anne.
Meanwhile, Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT, Graduate Show of 2013 opens at 3pm this Saturday, June 1 at the Clare Street campus. The event features the work of final year graduates including painting, sculpture and combined media, printmaking and contemporary practice, fashion, visual communications and ceramics. The show title – Odyssey– represents the journey the students have taken over the last four years, as they have moved from initial studies to emerging in their own right as artists and designers.
The show will be opened by Karl Wallace, artistic director, City of Culture 2014. Odyssey will continue to run from June 2 to June 8 [closed Bank Holiday Monday, June 3]. Entry is free.